As one of the country’s largest and longest-serving foreign banks, Citi added a commercial banking business to its offering in Canada as part of a global expansion strategy last year. “We had success in other parts of the world, so Canada was a very logical next step,” says Casey Coates, head of Citi Commercial Bank for Canada.
Established in 2011, Citi Commercial Bank has grown significantly and now works with companies across Citi’s 95 countries. “What we’re doing here in terms of building a business and a new business plan in Canada is very unique and doesn’t happen a lot in a very strong historical banking market,” he says. With Canadian roots dating back to 1919, Citi draws on its solid foundation, global network and access to diverse talent to fuel growth in its business operations.
To build his commercial banking team, which focuses on mid-sized companies with revenues starting at $10-million, Coates has welcomed bankers from Citi operations around the world, including Hong Kong and Ireland, as well as those from other financial institutions in Canada. He now has nine bankers as part of his national team but expects to continue hiring over the next five years.
“It is a nice mosaic of talent and experience that we’ve built here so far, and we’ll continue growing,” says Coates.
Having access to a large, diverse talent pool has long been a key element of Citi’s expansion in the country. Over the last decade, the company’s technology development centre in Mississauga, Ont., has grown, thanks in large part to the region’s strong work force. More than 2,000 people now work in the centre on projects for Citi’s global markets operations. Based in New York, Citi operates in 160 countries and jurisdictions.
“The strength and diversity of the talent that’s available within the Greater Toronto Area is so rich that we’re able to attract that talent with the offering that we’re able to provide from a global organization such as Citi,” says Aleta Froemmel, interim country human resources officer for Citi in Canada. “We are a diverse organization, so we attract diverse individuals. That’s really what makes us stronger. It is the strength of Citi.”
As the technology centre in Mississauga grows, Citi has expanded its services there to include internal audit, risk and client onboarding. Over the past two years, the internal audit division has increased to more than 250 employees, up from 40. “We’re really excited not only for the strong technology presence but the ability to expand our global operations beyond that because of the richness of our talent,” says Froemmel.
Having been with Citi for 22 years, she speaks passionately from personal experience about the benefits of working for a company often referred to as the “bank with a soul” by Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser.
“It’s about having a collective commitment to making sure that we are being the best that we can be and doing the best that we can do,” Froemmel says. “There is a feeling among our employees that they can truly make a difference at what they do.”
Citi will continue to grow and develop as an organization and remains committed to giving back to help others, she says. Last year, more than $1.1-million was raised for Canadian communities through Citi Foundation grants, donations and employee-led activities.
Advertising feature produced by Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a division of Mediacorp Canada Inc. The Globe and Mail’s editorial department was not involved.